Monday, July 5, 2010
The Reason Behind the Madness
Many members might be wondering why are we trying so hard to convert our greens from a stand of poa annua to creeping bentgrass? They say a photo is worth a thousand words, well this photo should pretty much explain it all. The plug on the left is a sample of the creeping bentgrass and the root system associated with it on our tees. The next plug to the right is a sample of the creeping bentgrass roots on the 15th green. The third sample is a combination of creeping bentgrass and poa annua and the last sample on the right is what our current poa annua root system looks like.
In a typical summer the poa roots might not be as short as they our now, due to the fact that all of our cultural maintenance practices would revolve around promoting poa and the poa root system. Currently that is not that case and we are doing all we can to promote creeping bentgrass while striking a balance at growing poa and not losing the density of the plants. We still need to grow grass and provide a playing surface.
Our current scale is tipping a little bit too much towards the bent and we need to bring that back in balance so we don't end up compromising the health and condition of the poa. This is where the art of greenkeeping takes place. It's a fine line to walk some days and as we head into the stressful part of the summer we need to watch things that much more carefully.